Former Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, according to an article The Atlantic published this week, “is trying to figure out how religious Republicans got so extreme.”
Haslam granted an interview to Atlantic writer Emma Green. Green said “Haslam is disturbed by some aspects of the national Republican Party’s recent direction—particularly the way politicians and activists have frequently used religion as a cudgel.”
“In his new book, Faithful Presence, he [Haslam] laments what he describes as a tendency among Christians to conflate politics with faith. He is one of many religious conservatives who feel unsure how to describe themselves these days. While he firmly holds evangelical theological beliefs, he told me, he doesn’t feel like he fits the political image of evangelicalism at all,” Green wrote.
“Haslam is willing to challenge his fellow Christians to be more Christ-like in the way they do politics, encouraging them to turn off FOX News and be more charitable toward their political opponents, but he’s squishy about naming and blaming fellow Christian political leaders for the example they’ve set.”
Haslam reportedly told Green that what he described as “Trumpism” has damaged the church. He also reportedly told The Atlantic that the church identifying with Trump has scared younger people off from attending services.
Haslam currently serves on The National Council on Election Integrity, alongside, among others, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former DNC Chair Donna Brazil, and former RNC Chair Michael Steele. The council has 35 additional members, all of whom are listed on the council’s website.
Time Magazine earlier this year referred to The National Council on Election Integrity as part of “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies.” The magazine said these groups were “working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information” during the 2020 presidential election.
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